Maplewood Township Council Advances Redevelopment Plan and Focuses on Public Health Initiatives

In a recent meeting of the Maplewood Town Council, discussions centered around the expansion of a redevelopment area on Springfield Avenue and extensive updates on public health initiatives, including the mayor’s wellness campaign and the importance of COVID-19 vigilance. The addition of 8 Vermont Street to the Redevelopment Plan as a non-condemnation area was a point of discussion, with the Council agreeing to move forward with the process. Public health updates provided by Health Officer Candace Davenport covered a wide range of topics from the mayor’s wellness campaign and environmental health to communicable diseases and food security.

At the forefront of the meeting was the consideration of Ordinance 3112-D24, aimed at amending parking regulations on Milburn Avenue, and the resolution designating 8 Vermont Street as a non-condemnation Redevelopment area. Mayor Nancy Adams outlined the process for amending the redevelopment plan, stating that it would follow the same procedures as an original plan and would not require revisiting by the planning board due to their prior recommendation. The council discussed the implications of the amendment and the engagement of a firm to further develop the plan.

The Council appointed Robert McCoy as the chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee to Sustainable Maplewood. The Council also established the Maplewood All Access Committee.

Public health was a focus of the meeting, with Health Officer Candace Davenport providing a comprehensive report on the community’s health initiatives. The mayor’s wellness campaign was highlighted for receiving a monetary award that would support financially challenged students at the 2024 Midnight Madness event. Davenport also stressed the importance of annual pet license renewals and the efficiency of local animal control services.

In her report, Davenport detailed the area’s COVID-19 risk level and emphasized the availability of vaccines and the importance of flu shots, particularly for seniors concerning the RSV vaccine. The health department’s initiatives also included free nursing home visits for new moms and babies, support groups for various challenges, and assistance with managing winter utility bills to prevent shut-offs.

The Council was informed about the importance of cervical cancer screenings and the availability of free screenings and vaccinations to prevent the disease. Winter safety, including tips for exercising in cold weather and understanding frostbite and hypothermia, was also discussed.

Council Member Engel was elected as the president of the Board of Health for 2024. The meeting also featured updates from the various Council members. Deputy Mayor Amari Allah emphasized the importance of diverse representation on committees, while Committee Member Victor De Luca shared the focus areas for the year, including master plan implementation and equality index rating. Committee Member Deborah Engel highlighted the return of the ice skating rink and Committee Member Dean Dafis discussed upcoming community events.

Administrative reports noted the promotion of an employee in the Department of Public Works and the hiring of a revenue administrative assistant in the finance office. The Council expressed satisfaction with these developments.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Nancy Adams
City Council Officials:
Jamaine Cripe, Dean Dafis, Victor De Luca, Deborah Engel, Amari Allah (Deputy Township Clerk)

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